From the Desk of ... Jeremy Leslie
1. That looks distinctly like a backyard out the window. Do you work from home? Where is home?
Good spot! I split my time between various places but my base is indeed at the end of the garden (yard!) at home. Or as I prefer, my home is slapped at the end of my work yard. Where? Balham, south London. It's quiet, suburban, but also quite central.
2. I had to check this twice. Is that actual, real INK on your desk? Please explain--and in great detail. (Many of our readers have never used ink!)
My wife Lesley gave me a beautiful wooden fountain pen for a birthday a few years back. That's it, second left from the iPad. It's stained black wood, always warm to the touch, and writes with a thick line. Every few weeks I have to fill it with ink from this bottle--I use jet black ink. The act of writing with it is satisfying, as is the action of refilling its ink reservoir. It might seem quaint but so much stuff is just throwaway. Like the other pen there, a Muji 0.5mm fineliner. That's fine, but you can't beat real, thick, smudgy ink.
3. What's in the mug? Does it change during the day? Like, say, at 6pm does is become something with an umbrella on top?
The mug gets well-used, it's a freebie from my friends at Stack, the independent magazine subscription service. Coffee is a key moment in my day, always made using a Bialetti coffee pot over a gas ring. Generally it's Illy coffee, but if I've been up to Shoreditch, there'll be some from Allpress. Another favourite is Stumptown from New York. If I could handle the caffeine, I would have a coffee on-the-go all day. But my head might explode. So two of these a day with foamed milk, interspersed with peppermint teas. Later I'll switch to Cotes de Rhone but that'll be in a different kind of mug. But no umbrellas.
4. Let's talk technology. I see an original iPad, a big screen, a Macbook, some sort of tablet, and what looks like an iPhone. A few questions:
a. What's your favorite iPad app? What about an iPhone app, too?
Aside from a recent family-wide Draw Something obsession (I recommend the Wacom Bamboo Stylus), my favorite general app right now is VC Audio Pro, which I've been using to record interviews for a new book. Magazine-wise it's the New Yorker and Letter to Jane. The Guardian app is great too. Also SkyGo for live access to soccer matches. One app that had a single feature I really enjoyed and haven't seen elsewhere was the version of Marc Saporta's book Composition No1 by Visual Editions. It flicks through the pages at frantic rate, only stopping when you touch the screen. It's the complete opposite to every other book app, but weirdly satisfying--stopping something via touch rather than making something happen.
b. Does size matter--can you design on a laptop?
Size does matter. Until recently I've always worked with a laptop connected to a monitor. You can work on the small screen, but I think it's important to design with items as near real-size as possible. If it's not, then I print the pages to check the relative sizes of text and elements.
c. What do you use the Wacom tablet for? Is it also your mouse? If so, have you tried the Apple trackpad?
I was using it instead of a mouse (habit after a bout of RSI) but since the picture was taken I've upgraded to an iMac. I have a trackpad and keep meaning to try it out but am still enjoying the Apple multi-gesture mouse.
d. As for your desktop, aside from the usual design-creation apps (InDesign, Photoshop, etc), what programs have you found indispensable (time-management, productivity, games, or anything else)?
Dropbox of course, then Things for multi-device project tracking, JustNotes for multi-device shared notes, Tweetdeck, Airfoil is a great little app that broadcasts audio via wifi. Skype is essential.
e. What's your fantasy upgrade?
My own satellite-based cloud storage from where I can grab any file at any time via any device and manipulate it by thought waves. In fact, I don't even have to download the file. It just happens when I think of it.
f. What'll be your next actual upgrade?
I've been through several A3 colour printers, and every time they break down irrepairably. So next up is a decent, hardworking, cheap-to-run printer. Any recommendations? Plus a new laptop, but waiting for the new MacBooks.
5. Your wall looks like a Managing Editor's wet dream. What's with all of the traffic signs?
Two things I collect when I travel: local magazines and traffic signs. The magazines are obvious, the signs less so. They're pretty much an international language now but there are plenty of local variations and I guess that's what intrigues me. Pictograms and fonts!